What You Should Know About Hotel Star Ratings Before You Book Your Next Stay

Hotel star ratings are not standardized and are often unreliable, it's best to rely on reviews you can verify or a personal recommendation from a friend or family member before booking a stay at a hotel.

By Tiffany Velasquez | Published

Hotel star ratings should be taken with a grain of salt and it may be best to experience things for yourself. Between different star systems, fake reviews, and a sea of people allowing one insignificant detail to ruin an entire trip, and making them leave a bad review, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sort through the reviews and determine what is legit and what isn’t. Experts in the field are encouraging guests to take another approach when it comes to deciding on where to stay

Initially, hotel star ratings were made to help potential customers search through customer experiences and determine the best choice to meet their needs. Some customers experienced unacceptable stays, while others experiences completely acceptable stays. Between the different stays that past customers wrote about, potential customers could easily determine if they wanted to give their business to a hotel or not. 

It was fairly simple and pretty black and white. Nowadays, it is not so simple. Companies are taking drastic measures to up their hotel star ratings and people have a varying system of what they find acceptable and unacceptable. 

 One of the first issues with hotel star ratings is the system being used. Some countries use a system of only four stars and others use a system of up to six stars. This can all get pretty confusing as some people are simply not aware of the fact that there are different rating systems among different countries. 

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In some countries, the hotel star rating system is even controlled by the government and is often completely out of date. Additionally, some countries impose a hefty tax on hotels that are rated in a five-star category. This heavy tax then prompts hotels to present themselves as a hotel with a lesser rating. 

To the reverse effect, some hotels up their hotel star rating to simply charge more to potential customers. Hotels and others companies are widely known for paying outside parties who have never even been a guest or used the product, to write fake reviews for their benefit. There is also no way to tell if a review is fake or not. 

In addition to hotel star ratings, hotels also use other system methods. You can find a hotel with diamond ratings and other things to rate them. Some hotels may be rated five diamonds and only four stars. 

It can all get a bit confusing when comparing diamonds to hotel star ratings and feedback from people who may or may not have been actual guests at a hotel. There are things that one can do to further and more accurately determine if a hotel is worth staying at or not. 

Checking hotel ratings can be a start to determining if hotel accommodations will be satisfactory or not. Make a shortlist based on a light hotel star rating search. Once you have a short list, make phone calls and use those interactions as something to determine just how the hotel accommodations may be. 

Getting hotel recommendations from personal family and friends is another great way to find suitable accommodations. The ratings might not be real but if you personally know someone who has visited, not only can you ensure the feedback is legitimate, you both may receive perks. Trusting your gut is another thing to consider and listen to when looking for hotel accommodations